Joey Bart is not a new name to the Giants. John Barr, the braintrust to the Giants' scouting of amateur and international players, has been watching him play since he was in high school, at the Cape Cod Baseball League and all throughout his career at Georgia Tech.
Barr is paying close attention to Bart as the No. 2 overall pick is making his presence felt in the name of dingers to start his professional career. Through eight games with Short Season Salem-Keizer, Bart has six home runs and 14 RBI.
"It's been a pleasure actually watching him turn into the player that he's been," Barr said Friday on KNBR. "He's really come a long way with his defense and his offense."
The way Bart has started his career has fans buzzing with Buster Posey comparisons. From the moment the Giants drafted the 21-year-old, he was seen as Posey's future replacement. Nobody knows the progression of the two better than Barr, who scouted both catchers from high school on.
"I don't like to do comparisons, but they're both leaders," Barr said. He then went on to look at where both players stood at this point of their career coming out of the MLB Draft.
"Having been able to watch them both develop ever since they were in high school -- Bart's a bigger guy, more physical that way. He probably has as much or more raw power than Posey had at this stage. But at the same time, Buster, from a standpoint of swinging the bat, making contact and being able to be a plus-hitter, we may have seen more of a pure bat from him in that standpoint."
During Bart's junior year at Georgia Tech this year, Barr was on hand to see him play Posey's alma mater, Florida State. With one swing, Barr left with a sight that won't leave him any time soon. Bart took an inside fastball and blasted it over the left-field fence against the Seminoles.
"It was one of the farthest balls that I've seen hit in a long time," Barr remembers vividly.
Though Bart could be a quick riser through the minor leagues, Barr made it clear he doesn't want to rush the catcher this season as he has been playing since January. For now, Bart will keep developing as a catcher and erupting at the plate as a Volcano.